MORE than £1 million has been spent by Swindon Borough Council on improving fire safety in its residential tower blocks councillors will be told.

A report to members of Adults' Health, Adults' Care and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on Wednesday will detail the upgrades of safety systems installed in respsondse to the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017.

It says: “The Council reviewed its fire safety measures in place for all its residential blocks of flats following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14th June 2017. This identified fire safety improvement works which were approved by Cabinet on 18th October 2018 following recommendations from this Committee.”

The £1,065,000 spent in the last year is broken down:

David Murray John Tower in the town centre had new front entrance fire doors fitted, additional hard-wired smoke detectors and intumescent grills installed at a cost of £150,480.

Six 10-storey general purpose blocks of flats had new internal fire doors, passive protection to escape stairway and intumescent grills fitted costing a total of £525,000

George Hall Court in Cavendish Square had a new fire suppressive system put in costing £255,000 and four medium rise blocks of flats had new emergency escape lighting at a cost of £135,000.

Councillors will hear that the council still has a ‘stay put and prepare’ policy for its residential blocks, on the advice of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

It says if a fire starts in a flat the people in the flat should leave the building, and if its in a common area, everyone there should evacuate the area, but those not directly affected should stay where they are, but prepare to leave.

The report says: “The Fire Service remain committed to this approach and advice residents may put themselves at more risk or get in the way and prevent [firefighters] tackling a fire is an approach was taken to evacuate high rise or tower blocks.”